Confronting the change in our climate is both terrifying and important, and if Trump has his way there won’t be much left to talk about very soon. Until then, we’ve got some really bad news and some slightly good news about the environment.
Bad news first: it’s 36 degrees hotter than usual in the North Pole. It’s been getting progressively warmer there since the end of October. A scientist from Rutgers University named Jennifer Francis explained the strange weather patterns to The Washington Post, saying by email, “The Arctic warmth is the result of a combination of record-low sea-ice extent for this time of year, probably very thin ice, and plenty of warm/moist air from lower latitudes being driven northward by a very wavy jet stream.”
She also said that there are “cold anomalies of about the same magnitude over north-central Asia,” so people are very chilly in Siberia right now. 2016 still remains the hottest year on record, so even if patterns shift it’s not looking good for forming ice sheets in the Arctic this winter, which means more melting this summer, and less chance of recovery the following winter.
Okay, some slightly positive news: ABC News reports that Obama has blocked new oil and gas drilling in the Arctic ocean. On Friday, a drilling plan that was announced in the spring was approved, one that blocks the drilling in certain areas, but still allows drilling plans in Alaska’s Cook Inlet to go forward. Also, Trump could theoretically rewrite this plan upon taking office, an effort that could take “months or years.”
Hell is empty because all the fire is here.